Ask Amy: Overwhelmed mom wants to pack it in
Dear Amy: I never wanted to marry or have children.
When my husband proposed I knew it was right to say yes (no regrets). We ended up having a honeymoon baby ... and two others after that! Now they are 7, 5, and 3.
I LOVE the life I thought I didn't want. I'm a stay-at-home mom and I homeschool all three children.
My husband works two jobs. He leaves at 4:15 a.m. and doesn't come home until 9 p.m. I'm so thankful he is willing to work to provide everything we need – and even a little more.
We just moved. I found the new house alone, cleaned and painted alone, packed and unpacked alone, all while homeschooling, doing the music lessons, karate classes, and being extremely involved in our church.
Lately, he's been very cranky, and I am giving him the benefit of the doubt.
He's exhausted. I treat him like a king.
The few hours on the weekends that he could do things, he only offers excuses.
I already feel self-conscious that we got married when I was young (21) and never got my degree, but recently two people (at our daughter's fifth birthday party) implied that he works, but I don’t!
My husband and I were both offended.
Lately, I feel even more aware that SAHM moms are looked down upon (even though I thought the pandemic changed that perception).
I feel exhausted, hurt, and resentful. I feel like quitting.
I feel like packing up and leaving. And I've never admitted that to anyone.
– Stuck SAHM
Dear Stuck: You have admitted your darkest impulse.
And, with that, I want to welcome you into the fold.
Every full-time parent (especially those with multiple young children) will reach moments where they want to pack it in.
Stay-at-home moms feel judged. Single moms feel judged. And every mom working outside the home also feels judged.
And who is doing the judging? Other women are.
(I could be wrong, but I’m not aware of men doing this to one another.)
Your own self-criticism takes up where your perception of what others are thinking leaves off.
You should take a fresh look at how your home life is structured. Pull back on obligations that are pushing you too far. For instance, one or more of your children might benefit from in-school instruction. Have you considered this? Are you co-schooling with other parents in order to share the load – and to feel less alone?
Your husband is missing a LOT. Can he cut back on his hours?
When he is home on Saturdays, you should leave it all behind for at least three hours. Meet a friend, go for coffee, take a fitness class.
You and your husband also need to nourish your own relationship, as adults and without children (kids’ birthday parties don’t count).
It can be very challenging to pull this off, but it would be worth it.
Dear Amy: My cousin's 33-year-old daughter (with three children) just committed suicide.
What can I say to her?
Dear Horrified: Here are a few things NOT to say: “What happened?” “How did she do it?” “Why did she do it?” “Who found her?” “Did she leave a note?” “How could she do this to you and her children?”
Do NOT post about her death on social media unless/until her family does. Respect their choices.
You can express versions of the following: “Oh no, I’m so sorry. I’m completely in shock. Would you like me come over? Are there any friends or family members you would like me to call for you, so you don’t have to do that?”
Attend any services they might have. Share fond memories with other family members.
After that, keep in touch with your cousin. Ask nothing of her. Simply reach out and say, “Hi, I’m thinking about you. I’m here if you ever want to talk about anything and for any reason.”
Your words won’t matter as much as your willingness to be present with your cousin through this sorrow-filled time.
Dear Amy: "Open and Lost in the South" wanted an open relationship with her boyfriend, and said he seemed fine with it until she told him she'd slept with multiple people.
Open and poly relationships work because of consent and transparency.
If "Lost" was having multiple partners before her boyfriend agreed to it, she wasn't being open – she was cheating.
The real problem is she deeply violated his trust. That hurts all relationships.
– Poly Guy
Dear Poly Guy: Exactly.
©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.